Smoking Can Increase COVID-19 Risk

 Smoking Can Increase COVID-19 Risk

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/cigarette-smoke-burning-cigarette-110849/


Smoking has been a major topic in the last few years due to nicotine consumption at higher rates from easier access to vaping and electronic cigarettes. The trend among teens has been alarming, in the last ten years (2011 - 2021) middle school, high school, and underage teens have more than doubled every few years. In 2011 less than five percent of high school and middle school aged teens were using electronic cigarettes, in 2020 a total of about 25 percent of teens were using electronic cigarettes.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this already dangerous habit could become more of a concern with COVID-19. In an article published May 28, 2021 on WHO website:  “Smokers have up to a 50% higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19, so quitting is best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from this coronavirus, as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. WHO reports that “Both tobacco products and ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: E Cigarettes) pose risks to health.  The safest approach is not to use either.” and that “There is growing evidence that ENDS could be associated with lung injuries and in recent times e-cigarette and vaping have been linked to an outbreak of lung injury in the USA.” This information is updated as of Jan 29, 2020. While the vitamin-e acetate related hospitalizations have slowed down significantly enough to not give cause for alarm lately, the COVID-19 factor is going to be a concern for a while as interpersonal contact becomes more normal with vaccination availability. WHO offers support through ‘Commit to Quit’ campaign as well as ‘Quitting Toolkit’ and hosts World No Tobacco Day 2021 on May 31, 2021. 


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